[clug] dist-upgrade to Debian Lenny - flagged boot problem

Felix Karpfen felix.karpfen at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 06:23:48 MDT 2009

steve jenkin wrote:

> Can you pre-empt the problem by adding new lilo.conf entries for the
> new kernel, while retaining entries for the old kernel??
> Lilo gets control *before* the new kernel and new device drivers...
> Leave the default boot as the old kernel, so nothing changes until
> you are happy with the New Order.

That was - more or less - my proposed strategy.  My theory was that if
the current kernel (2.6.18) works with Etch, then it ought to work with

> First, redo fstab with labels or UUID so it supports both kernels.

I experimented with "labels" in the past; and failed. Don't know why.  I 
suspect that UUID mapping will be more idiot-proof.

I worried about lilo being able to find the MBR; but, as Daniel Pittman 
pointed out (if I have understood correctly what he said), finding the 
MBR (on the first partition) is a job for BIOS.  So, renaming the 
partitions should be a non-issue.

> You only *need* to do this for essential file systems (/, /boot,
> /var, swap, ...). 

My /etc/fstab has many entries because there are 3 (Debian) operating 
systems on one drive and backup directories (updated monthly) on the 
second drive.  The setup predates the era of Gigabyte-USB-drives.

=> Note, first experiment with & getting working
> some inessential partition. When you have the syntax right, copy to
> just one other filesystem.  You kept a copy of the original file too,
> right?! 

Vim is my editor; it numbers and saves all previous versions of edited 

> Then, make a stab at the new entry required in lilo.conf, reboot your
>  machine & see if it works... No great loss if it doesn't.
According to the release notes, reverting to the previous kernel does 
not always work :(.  But I have now got the hang of using rsync to copy 
a whole OS and my OSs are deliberately kept very lean.  Hence, I 
consider the chances of ending up with a totally un-bootable setup to be 
small.  However, I have frequently been over-optimistic.

> Rinse and Repeat until you get the new kernel to boot and its "Happy 
> Users", or you've hit a roadblock and need to come back to the list.
> Happy Hunting!

Thank you for the advice and encouragement.


Felix Karpfen
Public Key 72FDF9DF (DH/DSA)

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